DATE WRITTEN: Monday, 2020-12-14
WRITTEN AT: Paul B Johnson State Park, Hattiesburg, MS
BIBLE REFERENCE: Matthew 5:13-16
TRANSLATION: Living Bible (TLB)
BIBLE TEXT: 13 “You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world? And you yourselves will be thrown out and trampled underfoot as worthless. 14 You are the world’s light—a city on a hill, glowing in the night for all to see. 15-16 Don’t hide your light! Let it shine for all; let your good deeds glow for all to see, so that they will praise your heavenly Father.
OBSERVATION: No doubt you have heard someone say ‘Now that will give them something to talk about!’, or perhaps ‘If they’re talking about me, then they’re leaving everyone else alone!’. We tend to use these phrases with a ’tongue and cheek’ attitude, because we really wish that trouble makers would not talk badly about about anyone. But let’s ponder the idea of letting our life so shine and acting in a way that others will be reminded of Jesus Christ! Perhaps they may even turn and give Him praise!
APPLICATION: Sometimes we must be reminded of why we’re here, otherwise we may tend to think that it’s just to keep our spouse happy, or to provide for our kids, or to be a slave for our employer! However, in our Scripture today God used Matthew to set out two illustrations for us to see how truly valuable we, Christians, are to the world. As a part of the world, we may just blend in with the crowd, because we may look like them, have kids just as they do, have to work just as they do, go to the same parties as they do and perhaps even live in the same neighborhoods. However for some, there may be certain changes that take place in their lives that causes them to be different. For example: they may make sufficient money that they may rise above the rest in riches; their son or daughter may become a professional athlete and a light is suddenly shone on the parents; a household member may be arrested and the press is suddenly always on the doorsteps of that family; etc. But for the one that accepts Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, how does that impact their neighborhood, coworkers or others in their circle of influence? I believe our Scripture helps us with this, for Jesus said:
~ You are the salt, or seasoning, of the earth – Food without salt, or any other type of seasoning is very bland and it would be challenging to encourage anyone to eat it. Houses in a neighborhood that are all alike are often referred to as ‘cookie cutters’. Residents in a neighborhood who are all alike may be referred to as all ’peas in the same pod’! However, when one stands out from the rest in their mannerisms, their decisions on controversial items, lack of worry about trivial worldly things, or their love for life and people around them, their neighborhood might begin to notice and wonder what has impacted them. Seasoning impacts the taste of food – usually for the better! Jesus Christ impacts the character and mindset of a believer – always for the better!
~ You are the light of the world – Someone with even minimal Bible knowledge will quickly tell you that Jesus is the Light of the World and that mankind should not be so presumptuous to believe that they are also ‘light’. However, in the example given above about neighborhood families or individuals, don’t you know that a soul that has been totally cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ, and have vowed to live in close relationship with Him, they will begin living – acting, talking and giving, like the Light of the world? It’s just natural that this will occur. In fact, our Scripture is encouraging us to live a life where it is obvious to those around you that there is something, or someone impacting your life in such a way that they will not only desire to also have that thing/person, but they will also praise God daily because of your changed life and your natural changes that are evident in your life!
Dear friends, notice that these changes impact you and makes your life stand out, but there is little value in any of that unless Jesus Christ is recognized and permitted to draw others unto Himself through the changes in your life. Please don’t allow personal pride to interfere with that. Allow God only to be praised and lifted up.
PRAYER: Lord Jesus, Salt of the Earth and Light of the World, thank You for accepting a simple neighborhood guy who could have easily been recognized as one of the normal members of society. Your transformation in my life has been phenomenal, because You brought me from a child of worldly worth, to a prince of the Most High God. Thank You for reminding my friends and I through the Scriptures that our new life in You was not intended to promote self, other than the humbleness in giving up those things that the world may have attracted us to. Oh that through the grace of our Lord may our hardened hearts be melted, and may our attitudes be molded so that our character might allow the Light of the World to shine brightly through every aspect of our lives. Please Lord, use us for Your glory in drawing all those in our circle of influence unto Yourself so that they may praise You for ever and for ever. AMEN!
FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. I would encourage you to find a church home near by your home, and attend as frequently as you could. Get to know God, and allow His people to encourage and strengthen you in your Christian walk, while making every effort to be a blessing to them. God is at work among His people! Please consider growing in your faith, as you worship with fellow believers!